For some clubs they are still looking to add enough numbers to their squad ahead of the campaign kicking off next weekend, for others they are looking for that little bit of extra quality, and some appear to have finished their business altogether. Lets look at how each club is shaping up:
Worth noting that the formations/systems will obviously chop and change throughout the season, it’s just a rough idea – same thing with the starting XI. Also, we’ve only listed each player once, but some can cover various positions.
We’ve added plenty youth prospects but there will of course be some we’ve missed, and we’ve included long-term injuries and players who appear to be all but gone just for arguments sake.
The Dons have some pretty good depth at the club in all positions, although they don’t really have a senior player who is an out and out left-back.
With Johnny Hayes having played in that area for the last few years, combined with plenty depth further forward out wide and an injury to Michael Devlin potentially meaning Andrew Considine is required at centre-half, we’d expect Hayes to play in the defense. Youngster Jack Mackenzie could be called upon for his debut in an injury crisis – or Shay Logan can also deputies on the opposite side.
Other than that, the Dons may lack a real natural number 10 and their wingers while talented will need to find more consistent form. Some may be concerned about the depth behind Sam Cosgrove, although Bruce Anderson has been in excellent form in pre-season.
Celtic are another club with plenty of depth in most places. Centre-back and goalkeeper are the two obvious points here, it’s unlikely Neil Lennon will want to stick with Scott Bain as a number one choice, and he will almost certainly want more experienced depth in the heart of his defense.
Another winger wouldn’t be a terrible thing, but with Christie able to play out there and potentially more minutes for Shved and Dembele, not many supporters will complain.
No issue with depth at striker, but Lennon may want to recruit to add more quality and dependability, which has certainly been the rumor.
Most recruitment efforts for United will surely be focused on the back-line. New coach Mickey Mellon has previously used a back five, but right now he barely has the depth for four at the back.
Sporle can play as a left-back, but it’s likely a new addition may be required to support Jamie Robson, and a centre-half has to be the priority, they might even need two.
United could improve the quality further up the pitch, but they’ve got plenty of depth and could probably get away with a striker, or a winger, or someone who can be utilised in both positions.
Again, the back-line is where Accies will be looking to recruit. They’ve only got one left-back, and both right-backs we’ve listed have more often played at the heart of defense for Hamilton – with Easton out injured for the majority of the remainder of the year as well. So a couple of full-backs are likely needed.
While the numbers are there at centre-back, some Accies fans worry the quality isn’t, so that could also be a position to look at.
There are decent numbers further up the pitch, but another midfielder wouldn’t be an awful idea if they can find one fitting the right style. That’s only if you go with this 4-4-2 diamond we’ve suggested, if Brian Rice wants to use wingers more frequently then he will probably need to dip into the market for one or two of them.
Hibs will likely chop and change their formation throughout the season as they usually do, but we felt this shape could potentially get the most out of their assets.
There are a few players where it feels like you might be trying to fit square pegs into round holes, but being flexible in the formation does help that. You can certainly argue a really good centre-back addition would be nice as Hibs did conceded a lot last term, but if one isn’t available then they are better off keeping their cash instead of gambling.
A left-back is also an argument that will be had, although should they use wing-backs it’s easier to use a more attacking player if Stevenson is out, not so much in a back four though.
Midfield could certainly do with another addition, possibly allowing Murray to go out on loan and having Halberg and Mallan as options off the bench would be good for the Easter Road side. They likely need and want someone in the Greg Docherty fit, but it might be difficult to get Docherty, or someone like him.
We’ve included Kamberi even though many expect him to leave, because you never know, even if he does depart his wages would probably be better off spent elsewhere in the team to allow decent minutes for Nisbet and Gullan, you can always go one up top in the event of an injury crisis.
Killie are one of the teams needing to do the most business – although in all fairness, they’ve been doing plenty over the past few days.
A goalkeeper, and maybe another one, are first on the list. Former loanee Daniel Bachmann is linked and would be an excellent addition, but Alex Dyer may need to wait on Watford before that can happen. Former Aberdeen man Danny Rodgers is also linked, he could be a good stop-gap for the first game or two if Killie are left waiting before becoming a very capable number two. Although he might not be keen on being a back-up keeper once again.
The additions of Haunstrup and McGowan make the back-line look a lot more balanced, but a fourth centre-back would be helpful, seeing as another centre-mid is likely required for depth as well, one that could double up as a emergency centre-back isn’t the worst idea in the world.
After all of that it might be a bit ambitious for Killie fans to hope for even more, but a winger capable of playing on both sides would be icing on the cake.
Livi again have the ability to really switch things up formation and system-wise, so this is just a rough guide.
They actually have the luxury of maybe needing to get rid of one or two players, although we’ve included a few in here that Livi fans reckon are off already anyway.
Right-back/right-wing back might be a place to look at for Gary Holt. We’ve got Pignatiello down as a back-up but he has no Premiership experience and right-back is just one of the areas he played in at Stranraer on loan, so that’s the area that screams out.
Alan Forrest is a good addition and looks like he could quite suitably fill the gap left by Steven Lawless of playing off of Lyndon Dykes and drifting about the place.
You could argue another central midfielder would be good, especially with a few injuries there at the moment, but that might be more hassle than it’s worth once those absentees are back.
Motherwell operate on a fairly respectable budget for what they’ve achieved over the past few seasons, so you always expect a few players to be filling in multiple areas and some youth players making up the depth.
As far as this squad goes it feels unlikely we will see many more additions. Maybe a right-back or a left-back, but not both. The left-side might be the better area to look at for this with Jake Carroll currently out injured.
In the centre of the park another midfielder might add some experience to the depth, but this also depends on the shape and if David Turnbull is used as we suggest here as a bit of a wide ten, drifting inside but not initially taking one of the starting 3 spots centrally. If not, and Turnbull does start centrally then a winger might be the best option to recruit. Playing Turnbull like this also requires someone like Carroll at left-back to get up and down the flank.
You won’t see Rangers struggling to put an XI together of senior players together this season, but like Celtic it’s the quality in depth they’ll be looking at as opposed to just numbers.
The Gers will want players who can push the standards of those starting, and produce off of the bench.
It’s probably either striker or winger that they’d be looking at needing for this quality. Defoe isn’t getting any younger and was looking more like his age towards the end of last season, Hagi can be used centrally too and while there are plenty of options on either flank after he and Kent, none of them appear to have captured Steven Gerrard’s imagination.
There is a case for a back-up right-back as well, but Nathan Paterson is just about the only young lad looking like he could make the step-up right now. That’s not for a lack of quality from younger players at Ibrox, but more so the difficulty in finding minutes. Plus Ross McCrorie can fill in there too. With Taverneir often playing so many minutes as well, it would feel a waste of cash and maybe even potential.
Similarly to a few other teams, County won’t run with a massive squad – although they’ve currently got 2 players for every position apart from right-back. That’ll be the first area they’ll want to look at, Loanee Randall being the only natural right full-back is a gamble. Goalkeeper is another position suggested by a few County supporters.
We probably won’t see much more business from the Staggies but a winger or particularly attacking midfielder could work quite well – they really would need to get rid of a striker if they want another one.
A lot of St Johnstone fans think they’ll go with a back five, but how the players ahead of that form up is less clear – either way they can switch it up between a 5-3-2, a 5-2-3 or even variations of a 4-4-2.
Clearly having four centre-backs is okay if you are planning on just playing two at a time, but they’ll need the adaptability of a back-four should two centre-halves not be available at one time.
The centre of midfield really sticks out as a place to recruit for Callum Davidson, especially if using three of them. Cammy Ballantyne is acting as back-up here in our depth chart but even after a very good season with Montrose in League One, it would be a big step-up. The loan market could prove quite fruitful for the Saints.
Wide men are required if they do revert to a form of 4-4-2, Craig Conway is on trial and is looking likely, another winger on top of him again might be greedy but it would certainly provide competition. Young John Robertson could play either out wide or up front, but we reckon he will be out on loan again.
Richard Tait is already proving a good signing for St Mirren due to his versatility, but unfortunately for Jim Goodwin, he can’t clone him. We’ve got him at left-back here, but Ryan Flynn is still out injured for the start of the season, so unless they make a signing soon, the opening day will see someone else fill in at full-back. At least Tait provides comfort in the fact they can sign someone for either side and he will take the other.
The midfield doesn’t have much depth to begin with, and centre-back is probably lacking another body as well, and even though Joe Shaughnessy can play right-back, they again can’t clone him either.
Up front, we’ve all seen how good Obika can do, and Morias can team up with him to provide a lively front two, but with two young lads as back-up Jim Goodwin could be tempted to look for another striker as well.
St Mirren could very well be the busiest team of them all between now the the close of the window, but they’ll likely have to make use of their versatile squad once again.
What transfers do you recommend for these teams, let us know on Twitter – @NE98FT